How globally competitive Filipino accountants are?
Accountancy is one of those careers in the Philippines that would always be in demand. A popular major and career of choice, there are many available opportunities for an accountant in any field or industry. With accounting playing an essential role in every business, you would certainly need a qualified accountant by your side, and there are many reasons why Filipino accountants stand out among the rest.
The Philippine Education System
Having the Philippine education system heavily based on the United States, universities and colleges here shouldn’t have a hard time aligning students with the global American market. The country’s labor force also continues to bounce back from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic; with our employment rate going up to 95.5% in October 2022, that just shows the determination of our education sector to shape the minds of the youth.
In the last decade, there have also been significant changes in higher education in the country. One of these changes is the K-12 program, the Philippines’ initiative to catch up to the global standards in secondary education. The K-12 program introduced four tracks for a Senior High School student to choose from:
● Technical-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL)
● Arts and Design
If a student chooses the Academic track, they are presented with four different strands:
● Accountancy, Business, and Management Strand (ABM)
● Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS)
● Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)
● General Academic Strand (GAS)
While all tracks and strands are equally important to furthering a student’s academic competence, it is the ABM strand that is the cream of the crop in the eyes of the global market. It is specifically geared towards the preparation of young business leaders of tomorrow. This strand highlights business and finance subjects such as statistics, economics, and accounting fundamentals that would help students acquire key industry skills in today’s job market.
As of September 2016, this strand placed third among all academic tracks for having the most number of students according to the Department of Education. The numbers alone strike a promising future for young business leaders as they venture into the professional world.
The Philippine Accounting Standards
The Philippine Accounting Standards (PAS) are closely patterned after the International Financial Reporting Standards provided by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The Philippine Financial Reporting Standards (PFRS), our version of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), ensures the strict institutionalization of financial reporting conducted by all companies doing business here in the Philippines.
To further reinforce the Philippines’ professional proficiency in the accounting industry, we have the Philippine Institute of Certified Professional Accountants (PICPA), the Philippine Regulatory Commission’s (PRC) professional organization of CPAs. The PICPA is also a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), a global organization that manages the standardization process of first-class international accounting standards in over 130 countries.
These stringent guidelines are continuously upheld by Filipino accountants who manage to pass one of the hardest licensure exams in the Philippines—the CPA Licensure Examination (CPALE). Conducted by the PRC’s Board of Accountancy, the CPALE is a 6-part examination that covers a broad range of accounting and finance subjects such as Auditing, Management Advisory Services, Financial Accounting and Reporting; Advanced Financial Accounting and Reporting; Taxation, and Regulatory Framework for Business Transactions. What makes the exam difficult is its average passing rate which does not go over 50%. The latest CPA exam was conducted last October 2022, and only 1,722 out of 6,665 (25.84%) examinees passed.
After years of rigorous studying for an equally rigorous licensure examination, a newly-passed CPA may then choose to work in the industry of their choice, enjoying their rightfully-earned blue-ribbon career benefits of being included in an elite group of accounting and finance professionals. The title alone should set them apart in the talent pool, even against professionals in other countries.
The differences between accountants in the Philippines, US, UK, and Australia
There are only slight differences between Filipino accountants and accountants in the US, UK, and Australia. With how closely modeled the accounting standards in the Philippines is to international standards, there is no doubt that a Filipino accountant can adapt and cut through a highly mature and competitive market.
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